IX Perspectives

All About the August 2016 Advertisers: Monthly Demand Profile

Programmatic is more than technology – it’s the advertisers that use it to ask users for their consideration across the web. Index Exchange has a wide view into how these advertisers and publishers behave in the programmatic market. To share this view, each month we seek to “open” the exchange to for the sake of industry transparency and shared information, on this blog.

Exchange Wide Spend Continues Ramp to Q4

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to most reading this blog that advertiser spend through Index Exchange is typically lowest during Q1. Budgets seem to increase steadily until May, dip slightly in June and then begin a march upwards to December, the strongest month year-round.

This year, we’ve seen month over month growth since March. August was no exception – exchange wide spend increased 16%, open marketplace spend went up 16%, and private marketplaces were 15% stronger.


The average clear prices for these markets also rose – average CPM boosted 9% exchange-wide.

Retail Stays Strong, Media Increases the Most


Above is a graph that shows top spending advertising industries, indexed by spend. Most industries increased 9-10% from July 2016. Media and Telecom rose significantly – 61% and 34% respectively.  Financial services evicted automotive for the number three spot.

In addition to overarching industries, we also take a look at sub-industries. We saw some interesting activity during the month of August among these more granular categories.

Movies, a category in the Media Industry increased spend 125% over July. Likely a function of a stream of studio releases during this time. Movies also had the highest average clear price of all sub-industries.

Republican spend, a category within the Non-Profit industry, increased 293% from July. Democratic spend increased only 35%. We’re eager to see how that changes as we near November.



As you’ll see in the charts and tables above, compared to other industries, CPG bought the most valuable inventory by price. We determined this is a factor of a few things: strong private marketplace spend and video dominance.

The biggest private marketplace buyer exchange-wide is virtually always Unilever, month over month. The company loves its PMPs – the brand buys almost exclusively through them and sets up savvy deals with high expectations (a steep viewability threshold is one of them).

Video is also a big driver of CPG’s high average clear prices. The top three sub-industries that bought the most video in August were all in the CPG category: food and drink, personal care and cosmetics, and alcohol. CPG’s big focus is branding and it’s honed in on video as the surefire tool to help make an impact.

Comcast Continues Programmatic Push During Rio 2016


The buyers that spent the most in August were very close to those in July. Much like in July’s biggest spenders, Comcast topped the list. Comcast, as the broadcaster for Rio 2016, had a busy summer. July was all about promoting anticipation for the games and August was about reinforcement to engage and enjoy those must-see Olympic moments.

For the first time in a long time, Unilever wasn’t in the top field of spenders. The company did spend significantly in the private marketplace, but only there. Most top exchange-wide spenders invest more in the open market.

We found last week that consumer electronics was a huge spender during the early back to school period. Best Buy’s position on the top ten exchange wide spenders thus isn’t surprising. There were scores of devices to sell!

Of the top exchange wide spenders, Best Buy and Ford had the highest average clear price.

L’Oreal Adds Budget to Private Marketplaces


In addition to ranking brands by top ten exchange-wide spenders, we look at the private marketplace’s biggest budgeters too.

Unilever, as usual, was the biggest private marketplace spender in August. L’Oreal increased spend sizably to reach the second spot.

August brought some new entrants to the field of top PMP spenders. Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Apple, and Kellogg’s joined, while Dell, Nissan, Mondelez, and Neos Therapeutics pulled out.

Of the biggest PMP spenders, L’Oreal had by far the highest average clear price. This means of the valuable, exclusive inventory in the PMP environment, L’Oreal was buying the most valuable. As Conde Nast runs a slew of private marketplaces through Index Exchange pipes, I wouldn’t be surprised if the beauty mammoth secured prime space on the glossy mags’ digital pages.

Video Spend Rises 20% Over July

As available video inventory within Index Exchange has grown, we enjoy looking at a new dimension of demand – video buyers. Video buyers are different than exchange-wide buyers –many explicitly buy video in the exchange. See below.


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